9. Noah's Ark: Genesis 6





In Genesis chapters 4 and 5 we the see the results of the fall, in chapter 4 Cain kills Abel, his descendents descend into murder and sexual sins with Lamach marrying two women.  Then, with the birth of Seth and his son Enosh, humanity began calling on the name of Lord.  The two lines of humanity, those who seek God and those opposed to God are typified in the two lines from Adam and Eve, Cain and Seth.  The 1600-year history of humanity before the flood is pictured in chapters 4 and 5 as the two lines of Seth and Cain are contrasted.

   Chapter 6 gives a picture of life in the world before the flood in the days of Noah.  Genesis 6 also shows the reason God would destroy all flesh on the Earth. Here God also shows His plan to salvage humanity through the line of Noah, the descendent of Seth. 

   The wickedness in the world had reached unimaginable proportions.  Sin was rampant; violence was ingrained into every thought of humanity.  If not for Noah, God would have destroyed humanity.  According to Jesus, the wickedness in the days of Noah will be like the days before His return.  Jesus believed in a literal Noah and a literal flood (Matthew 24:37-39). 

37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,  Matthew 24:37-38


The Sons God



Genesis 6

1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,

2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. Genesis 6:1-2

Now it came to pass:  This is the summing up of the events leading to the flood.  In Chapters 4 and 5 we see the progression of Adam and Eve’s descendents.  Adam and Eve had sons and daughters, the population of the earth multiplied over time.

Sons of God: This part of Genesis is one of the most controversial in the Old Testament.  The question of who is being referred to here as the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men” has been a topic of debate for thousands of years.  There are three views put forward by most commentators:

1.  The “Sons of God” represent the godly line of Seth and “daughters of men” represent the ungodly line of Cain and their intermarriage the leads to apostasy, compromise and sin, resulting in God’s judgment.

2.  The “Sons of God” are powerful kings who practiced polygamy taking any female they choose, leading to other wicked practices.

3.  The “Sons of God” are fallen angels who co-mingled with the “daughters of men” producing power tyrants who dominated and the earth in Noah’s day.

Both Jude and Peter seem to agree with the third interpretation. Jude refers to angels who violated their order, and were judged apart from the other angels with “Chains under darkness”.


6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Jude:6-7


4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly2 Peter 2:4-5


Angels are referred to as “Sons of God” because they were created directly by God as opposed to procreation of mankind through mankind (Job 1:6, 2:8). Adam like the angels is also called a “Son of God” because he was created directly by God from the earth (Luke 3:38).

The question is can angels procreate with the “daughters of men”?  Scripture teaches that angels do not marry, and that in the resurrection the “saints” will be like angels.  However scripture also teaches angels have appeared in human form, and that we can even entertain angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).  So God does allow angels to appear in human form.

In the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, we see the residents of Sodom trying to tear down the door of Lot to have relations with the two angels who stay at Lot’s home.  The point made in Jude is the angels had violated “their abode” and left their “First estate”.  Some argue these angels fell after Lucifer’s “fall”, these angels had a position of authority in the earth and violated that authority and sinned with the “daughters of men’.

            The point being is they had offspring of the woman, were noted as “Giants” in the earth.  The complete role of angels and their interaction in our world is not completely known.  Only through scripture do we understand their involvement in our world.  For example the angels who appeared with Lord at the tent of Abraham ate food and fellowshipped with Abraham, before they continued on to Sodom to visit with Lot.

Daughters of men: The daughters of men, referred to in verse one are now linked to the “sons of God” in verse 2.  The results of this union and the corruption of flesh lead to God destroying humanity except for Noah and his family.




The Spirit of God


3 And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3


My Spirit: There are two interpretations of this scripture; here we see conflict with the Spirit of God and flesh. Through the Spirit of God all life is preserved in the world.  God tolerates sin, giving sinners a time of repentance.  The conflict of the Spirit regards the corruption of flesh.  Here God sets a limit on this conflict.


one hundred...twenty years:  God limits this conflict to 120-years.  Some view this as God setting a time limit on the life of man to 120-years.  However, we know that people lived beyond 120-years after Noah.  Abraham lived to be 175-years old.  The more likely meaning is the time of God’s judgment was approaching.   Noah was not only a shipbuilder, but he was a preacher of righteousness.  The building of the ark was testimony against the fallen world he lived in.  Noah preached for 120-yers and only 8-people were saved as a result of his preaching. 


5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;  2 Peter 2:5



Giants in the world


4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:4


Giants:   This idea of giants living and existing in the ancient world is often met with skepticism.  Evidence clearly shows this can be validated both through the fossil record and even and our day.  Just as the animal world has ranges small, so does human kind.   In the pre-flood world we see giant varieties of dinosaurs and other animals that are extinct today.  The giants here refer to human giants which can be validated through fossils and imprints that “Giant” humans existed just like giant animals existed.   

            The Hebrew word for giant comes from the Hebrew verb Nephal, which means “to fall” as in attaching crushing its opponent.  Giants are also mentioned in Numbers 13:33 as the Hebrew spies see Nephilim  (Giants) in the land of Canaan.

Sons of God:  The offspring of the “sons of God” produced children of renown.  Some speculate the memory of these is the fables of ancient human history.  

Bore children to them:  The offspring of the daughters of men and the sons of God were a corrupting influence on the earth in the days leading up to the flood.



The condition of man


5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Genesis 6:5-6


The wickedness: With the corruption of flesh through the fallen angels and the corruption of the line of Cain on Adam’s descendents, the wickedness of had reached a tipping point as far as God was concerned.   God could no longer permit sin to operate. 

            We often mistake God’s mercy for acceptance.  God was merciful to the pre-flood world; he gave them room to repent.  This is best pictured in Abraham’s intersession for Sodom and Gomorrah.  God would have spared the cities for the sake of 10-righteous in the whole city. He would have not judged the city for the sake of 10 (Genesis 18:32).

Every intent: The thoughts were continually evil, there were no redeeming thoughts or actions in the people on the earth before the flood.  This is all the more a testimony to the Noah and his family righteousness when compared to the rest of the world.

Sorry: The Hebrew word, , ~xn Nacham means to console.  God was pained by what he saw taking place on the earth.  It hurt the heart of God, God has feelings like us, since we are made in His image, we are modeled after Him.



Noah finds grace


7 So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them."

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:7-8


Destroy man: God planned to eliminate all of the flesh that lived on the surface of the earth.  Man was given dominion over the earth.  He abdicated his dominion in favor of Satan, who was now exercising authority over the earth.  Noah and his family were the lone survivors of Satan conquest of humanity.  Now God would eliminate corrupt humanity and corrupt creation.

Noah:  There are many parallels with the last days and Noah.  God judges the world in the last days as Satan control grows and becomes more dominate in the world.  Jesus uses Noah as illustration of the last days, in many ways the circumstances are the same.  Two groups of people, the saved and the lost, with the lost dominating the saved, in the end God rescues the saved lifting them out of His judgment.

In the days of Noah they are lifted in a wooden ark, in the Second Coming the saints are lifted in the “Ark” of Jesus Christ in the rapture.



Noah and his family


9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  Genesis 6:9-10


Genealogy of Noah:  According to scripture, every living human being is related to Noah. In essence this is our family history.  Noah of our forefather and his three sons formed the branches the human race.

            The break here in Genesis is also a break in the record.   The generations of Noah and the generations of the sons are two complete compilations.  Genesis Chapter 5 traced the history of Noah’s line from Seth to Noah, ending in verse Genesis 6:9a, while the generation of Noah’s sons and the transition to the new world begins in Genesis 6:9b and continues to Genesis chapter 10.


Just man:  Noah was the antediluvian link to our day.  Noah’s justification came through faith, just as our justification comes through faith.  Noah believed God, he is a model of the “Faithful man”. 


7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.  Hebrews 11:7


Noah name and person is mentioned and commented on in both Old and New Testaments.  To deny the existence of Noah is akin to rejecting the validity of scripture.  For this reason, the story of Noah’s flood is one of the most consistently attacked events in the Bible.   Noah flood does not meet the “Preconceptions” of the secular atheistic world-view.

  Noah is mentioned by Isaiah 54:9, Ezekiel mentions him twice (Ezekiel 14:14,20), Chronicles list Noah in the line as our line.  Noah is listed as a forefather of Jesus (Luke 3:36).  Peter twice refers to Noah as a historical figure (I Peter 3:20, 2 Peter 2:5). Most importantly Jesus accepted Noah and the events in Chapter 6-7 as real events (Matthew 24:37-39, Luke 17:26).  So, we can see if Noah is dismissed so are all the people who believed in this “Fictional” character. 


Three sons:  Shem: means “name”, Japheth means “enlarged” and Ham means “warm” or “hot”.


The earth filled with violence


11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.

13 And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-13


Corrupt: Scripture here specifies the underlying condition of the corruption being violence.

Filled with violence:  This point is stated twice, which emphasizes the severity of the condition of man’s environment.  Man’s thoughts are continually evil and violent.  This is the decay of humanity without the moral standard of God.  If there is no God, then we are nothingness then animals, who live by violence and power.

            How much different are we then the days of Noah.  Violence sells, just look at video games, today kids and adults get to kill, mutilate and injure thousands of people in a virtual world and its called entertainment.   Just look at the top 10 video games and you will understand the point.


All flesh had corrupted: The judgment was on all flesh.  The extent of the corruption maybe shows up in the fossil record.  Even today, the wickedness of man creeps into the animal world with genetic experimentation, combining human DNA with animal DNA.  Science is being used as a vehicle to corrupt all flesh again[1].  For example in May 2008, the UK passed laws allowing the cloning of Human and Animal DNA overwhelmingly.  This was all done with for the advancement of science. 

            God judged the world in Noah’s day, Jesus warned, as in the days of Noah, so shall it be..... 



Building the Ark


14 "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.

15 "And this is how you shall make it: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

16 "You shall make a window for the ark, and you shall finish it to a cubit from above; and set the door of the ark in its side. You shall make it with lower, second, and third decks.            Genesis 6:14-16







Ark of gopherwood: rpg Gopher, the exact meaning of this wood is not known.  Some speculate that it could be cypress wood.  The boat was shaped like a barge, the purpose of the craft was stability and the ability to float.  The genetic material of terrestrial life was to be preserved in the ark when it set down.

Rooms:  The rooms were two separate the animals for the trip and for storage of food and stuffs.

With pitch: rpk Kopher   The meaning is covering, the same word is used for atonement. The pitch could have been some sap produced by trees such as the Rubber-tree which was the original source of rubber before petroleum products were used. 

Length....three hundred cubit: The length of a cubit varied from culture to culture, a conservative cubit would be 17.5 inches, this make the length of the arc equals 438 feet.

Width...fifty cubits:  The width would 72.9 feet wide

Height...thirty cubits: The height would be 43.8 Feet.

Window: The Hebrew word is Tsohar, which literally means opening for daylight.  The idea here is to position the opening of the arc one cubit (18 inches) from above the arc.  The purpose of the window was for light and ventilation.

Cubit from above:  The exact details are not known, we can assume with a window there was a roof to the arc which sealed it from rain. 

Door....in its side:  The door was positioned on the side toward the top, probably adjacent to the third floor.

Lower....second and third decks:  The arc had three floors, to cordon of the animals, birds and creeping things.  With all these details we must remember, the event was a super-natural event.  The animals came and acted they way they did because God sent the animals.  Noah job was to be obedient to God’s calling.

            Henry Morris writes regarding the dimensions of the arc as follows;




With the dimensions as calculated, the total volumetric capacity of the Ark was approximately 1,400,000 cubic feet, which is equal to the volumetric capacity of 522 standard livestock cars such as used on the modern American railroad.  Since it is known that about 240 sheep can be transported in one stock car, a total of over 125,000 sheep cold have been carried in the Ark.[2]



The floodwaters


17 "And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die. Genesis 6:17


I Myself: The flood was God’s work, God’s judgment.  The event was a super-natural event.  Our job as believers is not to try to conform God’s WORD to science, but to show how science conforms to God’s WORD.  God had first prompted Noah about his plans, Noah would have 120-years to complete the task.  God would provide Noah with the means necessary to finish God’s plans.

Floodwaters: Here God reveals to Noah the method of judgment to take place on the earth.  He would judge the earth with a world-wide flood. The Greek word translated for Noah’s flood is kataklumos (Cataclysmic).



The covenant


18 "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark-you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you. Genesis 6:18

Establish my covenant:  tyrb Beriyth,  The Hebrew word originates from the Hebrew word meaning to divide.  When God established His covenant with Abraham, the presence of God passed between the halves of slain animals.  This was done to signify the consequences of breaking the covenant.  May the covenant breaker be split in two like the animals was the underlying meaning.

            God gives the provisions of the covenant later in Genesis 9 to Noah and his decedents after the ark is settled.


9 "And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you,

10 "and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth.

11 "Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth."

12 And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

13 "I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.

14 "It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud;

15 "and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16 "The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

17 And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."  Genesis 9:9-17


The collection of animals


19 "And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

20 "Of the birds after their kind, of animals after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive.

21 "And you shall take for yourself of all food that is eaten, and you shall gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and for them." Genesis 6:19-21


Every living thing: The purpose was to preserve the genetic variety of each kind.  The species of the kind would developed after the Ark is settled.  Noah did not need to bring two German Shepards and two poodles on the arc, he would have brought the ancestor from which these animals were derived such as the wolf.

two of every sort: The distinction is made between clean and unclean.  In chapter 7, the clean animals there were 7 pairs brought on board the arc, while here unclean only one pair.

birds....animals...creeping: Noah job was to build the vessel and make preparations for the arrival of the animals, God would send the animals.

will come to you: Noah did not have to go and hunt these animals down, capture them and bring them in the arc.  God would send them to Noah.  We know in chapter 7, there were seven sets of birds and clean animals.

take food:  Noah was to provide food for the animals on the trip.  Feeding all those animals could be a daunting task, God could have had the animals go into hibernation mode to alleviate the work.  Above all we must remember God is causing the animals to come.  The animals are responding to a super-natural call.




22 Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did. Genesis 6:22

Noah did: Noah was the model of the faithful servant of God, who was obedient.  He was from the line of godly men.  His grandfather Methuselah died the year the ark was finished.

[1] http://www.lifenews.com/bio2447.html

[2] The Genesis Record, Henry Morris, Baker Books, Pg. 181, 1993, 23rd printing.